Having risen from a small club act to being signed by The Royal Potato Family (Garage A Trois, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) in just one year, guitarist Todd Clouser is widely gaining recognition as an artist emerging into the international creative music conscience. His performance credits include stints with Keb Mo, tours with downtown trumpet legend Steven Bernstein, and Cyro Baptista. Clouser was selected by the New Music Seminar/New York Music Festival as one of 100 "Artists on the Verge."
Todd Clouser's A Love Electric comes with the tomorrow of creative music, descending from the lineage of jazz, 70s' rock icons, and flourishes of avant lyricism. A Love Electric has an unmistakable patent on its genre-defying approach to song and performance, delivered with an energy described as "illuminating" (Time Out Barcelona) and "infectious" (Minn Public Radio). The wildly engaging live show has taken A Love Electric to stages from Barcelona to Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA to Jazz Dock in Prague, Czech Republic to Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.
In 2012, Clouser plans a series of three album releases, two of which are already available: 20th Century Folk Selections is a collection of Clouser's interpretations of songs ranging from Lou Reed to Pearl Jam to Malvina Reynolds, while Entre is a recording of new original material, including standouts like "Have You Fell In Love In Paris" and "Unbreak The Morning."
"A young, genre-defying guitarist, composer, and writer, Berklee schooled Todd Clouser is an accomplished musician across the creative music spectrum, leading a unique path to recognition as an act to watch, finding his own voice performing with musicians from Keb Mo to "downtown" NYC jazz legend Steven Bernstein. Clouser's impassioned performances run from piano balladry to dense jazz and groove, exciting audiences with an approach meant to bend the rules of artistic labeling. "A Love Electric" documents Todd's most aggressive ensemble yet, an energetic quintet based in the stylings of 70's era electric jazz." - Dakota Jazz Club
Todd Clouser is a Baja, Mexico-based guitarist whose genre-defying compositions and passionate live performances have earned the praise of musicians, critics, and lovers of jazz and rock alike. His newest full-length release Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric, available February 1, 2011 on indie jazz tastemaker label Ropeadope, is an intuitive blend of 70's rock, Curtis Mayfield groove, and modern jazz, featuring eleven original compositions and two covers: Harry Nilsson’s “One” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
“A Love Electric is possibility and energy. I come from a rock place as a player. I still love Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and the total madness in noise, even if I’m listening to Charlie Parker, Monk or Wayne Shorter more often these days. When I got my first guitar at 11, I plugged it in and just started scraping, strumming the strings open, shivering at the feedback, and making weird shit go on, but I was told that stuff was not right by early teachers. As time went on, I went from listening to Zappa and King Crimson to Miles Davis, lots of the organ trio blues players like Jimmy Smith, New Orleans music. All that stuff that just has an inherent scream to it, even when played softly,” explains Clouser. “On A Love Electric, I present real tunes with melodies and structure, but there’s freedom within the written parts to get back to having fun and screaming. Strumming the guitar like I did naturally, with swaths of sound, and just generally a passion to create. What I have to offer at this time in my life is the energy that shakes inside, all the emotion and the oddity which I cannot express in words or relationships. All that was once new was initially regarded as ‘out,’ ‘nasty’ and ‘evil’ from Robert Johnson to Ornette Coleman to electric Miles Davis to electric Dylan. That’s the stuff that feels real to me and it’s always been that way.”
A Minneapolis native educated at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Todd Clouser toured for a number of years with rock outfit, 4 Letter Man, before relocating to Baja, Mexico in 2007 in the hopes of adopting a slower pace of life. It wasn’t long before Clouser found inspiration in his new surroundings, making his way back to the studio and stage with the release of 2007’s sparse, thematic Baja, and 2008’s Beatnik Highway.
“When I first moved to Mexico in the 2006, my sole intention was to develop my own voice. And Los Cabos being kind of an island unto itself allowed me to get some gigs, shed tunes, and fail a lot without consequence,” explains Clouser. “I’m not sure I would’ve been afforded the opportunity to dig into things were I up in the States, whether it be by my own personal pressure on myself, or just the general rush I can feel up there. I tend to be an anxious person, so a move to Mexico, the beaches, a public that can be a bit less rigid, works great for me. I love playing in the US and most all the players I greatly admire live there, Frisell, MMW, Nels Cline among them. But for me, personally, emotionally, and musically, I needed to make the move.”
Revered “downtown” New York City trumpeter, Steven Bernstein (Levon Helm, Lou Reed, Sexmob) recognized Clouser’s talent, touring Mexico in 2009 and 2010 with Clouser as co-bandleader to crowds of a thousand-plus. Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric prominently features Bernstein’s trumpet work.